Tourist in my own city: the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC

It’s been almost a year since I wrote a post on this blog and what a year it has been. I hit the one-year-recovery-from-depression mark, landed a job in Washington DC and moved to the USA. It sure was an eventful year and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

Inspired by the I Heart My City posts from National Geographic, I have decided to write posts about my “touristic” adventures in my own city. I have lived in many cities, and somehow I have seen and learned more about cities and countries that I haven’t lived in than the ones that I have lived in. Crazy, I know, but somehow once I live in a city I get too caugth up in the day-to-day life to do the touristy stuff.

I moved to DC just about 2 months ago and until this weekend all my time and energy went into adjusting to my new job, finding a place to live and making this new place feel like my home. I work two blocks from the White House, but hadn’t walked over to see the National Mall and all its museums and memorials yet. This weekend I finally made time to visit the Mall and the Tidal Basin for the famous Cherry Blossom Festival, and boy was it worth it.

Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom Festival 204

In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave 3000 cherry trees to the city of Washington DC, which were planted around the Tidal Basin. Each year, when the cherry trees blossom, the Cherry Blossom Festival  is held to celebrate and honor the long-lasting friendship between the United States and Japan.

Many people visit the city and the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms during peak weekend. If you are ever in the neighbourhood of DC in the beginning of April, do make the effort to visit the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin. However, if you go when the blossoms peak be prepared, you will be one of many, it will be (over) crowded and very touristic, but so worth it.

There’s a festival with food and drinks, music and lots of entertainment. You can go on boat rides, bike around on the bikes of DC’s bike sharing program, rent a paddle boat or you can just walk around, brave the crowds and enjoy the Cherry Blossoms. And when you are at it, don’t forget to pay a visit to the many musems and memorials on the National Mall.

I for one truly enjoyed being a tourist in my own city this weekend! When have you been a tourist in your own city?

For more information on the Cherry Blossom Festival, go to

For more information on visiting the National Mall, go to or

I have entered this post as my contribution to this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: Monument. Not only is the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC a monument in itself, for all it’s fame and history, it’s located at the National Mall, which is packed with monuments. A few of the iconic monuments are captured in the photos above: the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and the White House.

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